Last week, the Chargers decided not to issue any restricted free agency tender to running back Darren Sproles. We’d been told that they opted not to even use the low-level “right of first refusal” tender because they feared owing him 110 percent of his 2009 franchise player salary.
It is worth noting that the Redskins were among the teams that were speculated to be interested in Sproles prior to the start of free agency. The Redskins then went and signed Larry Johnson.
Now, that said trading Sproles can also be a possibility.
The Chargers could still trade him, but whoever gets him will be dealing with contractual demands premised on first-year compensation of $7.27 million.
The move also could jack up the market for the various running backs who are and soon will be available, especially since the Chargers are paying so much money for a return specialist and a third-down tailback. Then again, maybe the Chargers have decided to use Sproles like the Jaguars used Maurice Jones-Drew after Fred Taylor left, as a guy who is on the field more often — and who gets more opportunities to make things happen.